The Kokugo Revolution: Education, Identity, and Language Policy in Imperial Japan

The Kokugo Revolution: Education, Identity, and Language Policy in Imperial Japan

The Kokugo Revolution: Education, Identity, and Language Policy in Imperial Japan

The Kokugo Revolution: Education, Identity, and Language Policy in Imperial Japan

Synopsis

Through a study of the development of the Japanese national language, Paul H. Clark discusses reforms in the education system and the creation of a modern cultural identity in the Meiji era and beyond. The book begins with the varied early forms of spoken and written Japanese and goes on to explain how the colloquial version was promoted, especially by Ueda Kazutoshi, and became kokugo. It also demonstrates how language was used as a tool for social control and a means through which a greater sense of national unity was created as Japan careened toward total war with Asia. Source materials include interviews in addition to publications such as journals, books, newspapers, the official government gazette, and textbooks.

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